A data warehouse is a central repository for all or significant parts of the data that an
enterprise's various business systems collect. The term was coined by W. H. Inmon. IBM sometimes
uses the term "information warehouse." Typically, a data warehouse is housed on an enterprise
mainframe server. Data from various online transaction processing (OTP) applications and other
sources is selectively extracted and organized on the data warehouse database for use by analytical
applications and user queries. Data warehousing emphasizes the capture of data from diverse sources
for useful analysis and access, but does not generally start from the point-of-view of the end user
or knowledge worker who may need access to specialized, sometimes local databases. The latter idea
is known as the data mart.
Data mining and decision support systems (DSS) are two of the kinds of applications that can make use of the data warehouse.
This was first published in March 2001